Some may think train accidents are reserved for action movie scenes. Unfortunately, train accidents happen in real life. Nearly 3,000 train accidents occur annually in America. Out of these accidents, around 1,000 results in a fatality. With such high fatality rates, it is clear that train accidents are a real life problem.
If you were recently injured as a result of a train accident, you may be considering seeking compensation for your damages. Train accident claims are hard to navigate and you should only trust a personal injury attorney well-versed in train accident cases. Attorneys at SMT Legal have the experience and confidence necessary to navigate difficult train accident claims.
Pennsylvania Train Accident Statistics
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), more than half of all train accidents that occurred in Pennsylvania in 2017 involved passenger vehicles. PennDOT also found that most of the 2017 train accident that occurred in Pennsylvania occurred during the day. They also occurred most through Monday and Friday. Allegheny County experienced multiple train accidents in 2017. The statistics show that train accidents are not occurring in uncommon circumstances; they are occurring during daily routines.
Common Train Accident Causes
Train accidents can be complex due to the number of potential victims and causes. Train passengers are obvious victims, but they are far from the only ones. Operators and passengers of other vehicles can also be victims. Other potential victims include those who work on the railroad and pedestrians who are near a railroad. There are a variety of possible causes of train accidents.
Derailments are one of the leading causes of train accidents. Most train derailments cause devastation when they occur and are usually caused by neglectful behavior. There are established safety procedures for train operators to prevent derailments, but they are not always followed. Other causes include malfunctioning or ill-maintained tracks, faults in the training equipment, or trains being loaded with too much cargo.
Another common form of train accidents are accidents that occur at railroad crossings. These accidents affect vehicles or pedestrians crossing the tracks. Railroad crossing accidents can be caused by malfunction crossing signals or malfunctioning crossing gates. Crossing accidents can also occur when train conductors do not use their horns or lights while approaching railroad crossings. Accidents can also occur when crossing signs are blocked or ill-maintained. There are also examples of train accidents occurring from objects or cargo that obtrude from a train car.
While derailments and collisions at railroad crossings are the two most common forms of train accidents, they are not exclusive. Train accidents can also happen to pedestrians who fall into the railway.